Williams brothers lead Bilbao to victory over Atletico Madrid

Mueez Ajao

– Athletic Club will be Real Madrid’s Supercopa de Espana final opponents as they came from behind to beat Atletico Madrid on Thursday evening in Saudi Arabia.

– An Unai Simon own goal put the LaLiga Santander champions in front in the second half, but a quick-fire double from the Basques saw them book their place in Sunday’s final.

– Atleti started on the front foot through Joao Felix, looking to cause problems for their Basque opponents early on. The Portuguese came close to opening the scoring within minutes of kick off, but his effort went off target.

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– Athletic looked to get a grip on proceedings but were overwhelmed by the LaLiga Santander champions early on, with Angel Correa following Joao Felix’s lead and trying to cause problems in the opening exchanges.

– But Jan Oblak was the first goalkeeper called into action, having to be alert to turn away an effort from Inaki Williams before Athletic had a penalty appeal waved away.

– Things did then settle as the game progressed, play then evening out and the early drama calming.

– Unai Simon suffered the misfortune of turning into his own goal on the hour mark to put Los Colchoneros ahead. An in-swinging corner was met by Joao Felix, and his low header was knocked off the woodwork by Simon, only for the ball to come back and bounce off his back before crossing the line.

– Oblak had more work to do to keep Atleti ahead, but Athletic clearly realised that attack was their only option once they had fallen behind.

– It paid off in the final 15 minutes, first as Yeray Alvarez levelled, powerfully heading beyond Oblak on the end of an Iker Muniain corner.

– Just four minutes later, Athletic led. Nico Williams did what his brother couldn’t earlier by beating Oblak, again on the end of a corner. This time the ball fell lose to the younger Williams brother to fire in off the post.

– With all hope of a leveller lost, Josa Maria Gimenez saw red in stoppage time. Having initially been shown a yellow card for kicking Inigo Martinez’s head, VAR intervened and upgraded the punishment.